Protests Escalate in Nairobi and Other Kenyan Cities Over Government Tax Hikes

Protests have erupted in Nairobi and other Kenyan cities against government-proposed tax hikes, leading to clashes between security forces and demonstrators. Riot police, including some on horseback, have used tear gas to disperse crowds protesting the controversial finance bill, which is feared to exacerbate the cost of living crisis. The unrest comes ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote on the bill. Demonstrations have spread to the Indian Ocean Port of Mombasa and beyond, with more than 300 arrests made earlier in the week. Protesters, largely young people informed about tax issues, demand that the bill be rejected in its entirety, despite recent government concessions on some controversial clauses.

  • Security forces clashed with protesters in Nairobi over proposed tax hikes by the government.
  • Riot police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators ahead of a parliamentary vote on the controversial finance bill.
  • The protests have spread to other cities, including the Indian Ocean Port of Mombasa, with over 300 arrests made earlier in the week.
  • Protesters, mainly young people, are well-informed on tax issues and are demanding the complete rejection of the finance bill, despite some concessions made by the government.
  • The finance bill includes contentious clauses such as a 16% VAT on bread, motor vehicle levies, and other taxes.
  • Demonstrations are not only occurring in Nairobi but also in towns across the country, including the president’s hometown of Eldoret in Western Kenya.
  • The protests are notable for being largely led and mobilized by young people, independently of political leaders, through social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter.

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